Maps maps maps. My friend Hugh Nicoll, living in Japan for two decades, wonders how deep the red/blue divide really is. I am wondering if the mainstream press hammering away at "blue" and "red" have really obscured the more complex reality. Maps to the rescue! Or rather, clever and thinking mapmakers.
image source © 2004 M. T. Gastner, C. R. Shalizi, and M. E. J. Newman
Robert Vanderbei at Princeton worked hard and did a County by county visualization of the red/blue/purple reality of the voting, including a GIF that blinks between 2000 and 2004 results. If it pleases you, you can even buy purple America t-shirts.
November 5, 2004 Purple Haze Revisited--all kinds of maps and some experiments in color schemes;
November 7, 2004--More on color schemes (more informative than just red/purple/blue--and some pointers to what other cartographers have devised for these problems.
Nocwmvwe 8, 2004--reflections on making maps and toolkits!
November 9, 2004--points to Sarah Fabrikant's (what a fabulous name for a cartographer!) Everything Maps 2004 page.
And Suresh has a whole page on cartograms